Sunday, January 16, 2011

WE CANNOT KNOW WHEN CHRIST WILL RETURN


 IT IS NOT FOR US TO KNOW
A. Brother

“He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know
the times or the dates the Father has set
by His own authority.  But you will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.’”
Acts 1:7,8

“They were looking intently up into the sky
as He was going, when suddenly two men in white
stood beside them.  ‘Men of Galilee’, they said,
‘Why do you stand here looking into the sky?
This same Jesus, who has been taken from you
into heaven, will come back in the same way
you have seen Him go into heaven.’”
Acts 1:10,11

What a lesson for all of us who await the Lord Jesus’ return.  Anyone who knows Christ should be eagerly anticipating His arrival to take us home with Him.  Yet we are given, as the apostles were given, clear instructions about what we’re to do while waiting.

Are we to spend our time speculating on the times and dates of Christ’s return?  Jesus Christ Himself tells us we can’t know those things, because they are set by the Father, and nobody will know before it happens.

Incidentally, this was the last instruction given by Christ before His ascension into heaven!  He knows us so well.  We will tend to “get into” the spectacular, the speculative.  We will tend to want to solve this great mystery of when Christ is returning. 

Our earliest brethren were reproved by the angels immediately when they continued to stand gazing up into the sky after Jesus had been taken up from them.

Our Father tells us to obey Him, and that means doing what we’re to be doing in Christ, without spending our time “stargazing”, and speculating back and forth endlessly about when and how Christ is coming back.  Throughout history, there have been disobedient groups of Christians who, instead of seeking the power of Christ in their lives to be His witnesses, and to bring others to Him, have spent their time focusing on the “when” and “how” of Christ’s return.  So today we have the same happening.

However, brethren, we are to resist and reject those activities.  We are to focus on Christ, and on the work of the Kingdom, as He instructed us.


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